Upon the Forsaken Road

Raj sat on the podium, blissfully looking at the bestseller lying on his lap. Misty-eyed he reflected upon the twenty-five years that had gone by.

*********

By the time he was ten, he had already begun composing poems on his own. He used to sit in the garden gazing at the sky with a note pad and pen in hand. “Where in the world are you?” his mother would shout, “Go out and play with your friends! Stop scribbling.”


He remembered he would indigenously say, “Maa, let me write it down before I forget.”  Exasperated she wearily watched him write and rewrite sentences until the notepad was an indecipherable mess. 


********* 

During their family get-togethers at Lucknow, grandpa proudly called their family, a family of logical and prudent individuals. His parents were software consultants. His Grandparents and uncle were engineers. He wanted his grandchildren to embark upon the same path.

He feared everyone in the family would devise different ways to chastise him and his writings. Apart from plucking Dasheri mangoes from the orchards and relishing the Awadhi delicacies, the visits were quite taxing.

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Everyone loved whatever he wrote. His family, teachers and friends were proud of him. But his parents were apprehensive of the struggles that a writer faces. Consequently, they didn’t want Raj to choose writing as his career. 

Raj’s inclination and passion for writing grew evermore. Not even the persuasion of his parents and grandparents could delude him. They would say, “Opt for maths or biology.” Elaborating upon the greatness of technical studies and the future it holds. “You can write books on medical or engineering if you prefer writing.”

He would only say with steely determination, “I only want to be a writer. I want to write books and get them published.”

Disappointed, they would leave the conversation in the middle knowing where it would lead to.  

Unable to understand him they wondered why anyone would choose a career which is strewn with criticism, scorn and depression. 

Finally, they had to give up, because they knew nothing would stop Raj once he had made his mind.


********* 

Raj’s stupor was broken with the announcement on the microphone.  The program was being hosted by Sahitya Kala Academy in his honour.

His story had been published by a leading publishing house. The book was christened ‘A Child’s Interest’.

His Grandparents and his parents were seated in the VIP row. Grandpa was summoned on the stage to express his views. In his modest speech, grandpa was all praises for Raj on his exceptional achievement. He read a few lines from the book.

Later he mentioned, “If a child is supported and encouraged by their parents, he/she can come out with flying colours, and shine in whatever they do. It is easy to go with the flow but there are only a few who dare to swim against the current.” 

Raj took a deep breath that filled him with tranquility, while the hall resounded with the cheers and clapping of the audience.
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Anjana Prasad
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